We are a small department, and we take great pride in our sense of community and in the strong mentoring relationships we forge with our students throughout their time at Notre Dame. Your beginning language class might be taught by the department chair, during your junior year you might help one of our world-renowned professors conduct research, and by your senior year, you could be working on your own publication!
Most of your interactions with the department will take place in the brand-new Max Kade Commons in Decio Hall, which opened in the spring of 2021 and provides an integrated home for faculty and students. Here, you will take courses in our state-of-the-art classroom dedicated to German and Russian, do homework in our comfortable study lounge, fix yourself a coffee as you catch up with the latest news about Europe, or chat with our faculty during office hours.
Study abroad is an integral part of our curriculum — and the more language courses you take prior to studying abroad, the better your experience will be. All of our students are encouraged to spend a summer, a semester, or even an academic year in one of our programs in Germany or Russia. Study abroad can be a life-changing experience, as you immerse yourself in the hubbub of Berlin, study within walking distance of the Kremlin, or experience the imperial splendor of St. Petersburg and the medieval mysteries of Heidelberg. Our Notre Dame in Berlin program also offers summer courses taught in English for students with no prior connection to the department.
Our curriculum encompasses the entire breadth of German and Russian studies, from literary masterpieces to in-depth discussions of current political developments. In keeping with Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, medieval studies, philosophy, and contemporary social justice issues are special strengths of our department. We take an interdisciplinary approach to our discipline, and frequently collaborate on course offerings and research with other academic units, such as History, Philosophy, Theology, Political Science, English, or Film, Television, and Theatre.
For students interested in preparing for careers in the global economy, we offer the International Economics major with a concentration in either German or Russian, combining rigorous coursework in economics with advanced training in a language and culture. We also offer classes in Business German for students in the Mendoza College of Business, College of Arts & Letters, or other programs who are interested in acquiring baseline levels of language understanding.
Our faculty is nationally and internationally recognized, with an outstanding publication record and proven success at securing grants from entities such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, or the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation in Germany.
The department regularly hosts and co-hosts lectures from visiting academics, as well as from important figures of public interest, such as former German President Horst Köhler or prominent Russian painter Maxim Kantor. Members of our faculty have also won both the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Dockweiler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.